I’m in the final stretch of the currently untitled next stand alone novel– which is why things have been so quiet here on the website. But, to break up the wait, here’s a small outtake from the work in progress.
As you may have noticed, my characters tend to talk. A lot. I absolutely hate cutting those conversations short, but, sometimes, for the sake of pacing, they have to go.
This one had to go.
Here’s the scene. London, 1894. Burlesque actress Georgie Evans has, with reservations, agreed to accompany her friend Kitty to supper with the notorious Sir Hugo Medmenham and Sir Hugo’s American friend, Bayard Van Duyvil. Georgie is mostly there to keep an eye on Kitty who has her eye on Sir Hugo. (Which makes an awful lot of eyes in action.) And Georgie wants to make sure the American knows she’s not for sale with the meal.
Kitty and Georgie are performing in a burlesque version of Twelfth Night called Eleven and One Nights, so the conversation turns quite naturally to Shakespeare….
“Will you say me a sonnet, then?” He sounded genuinely interested, but then they all did, didn’t they? Until they had what they wanted.
“For the right price,” said Georgie, with calculated crudity, “you can have all of Hamlet.”
“Bodies and all? That’s a grim prospect.”
Not everyone got a comedy or a romance. “A sad tale’s best for winter.”
Van Duyvil frowned. “That’s not Twelfth Night, is it?”
“A Winter’s Tale.” She’d played Perdita, pursued by a rather lascivious bear. Never mind that Perdita and the bear never shared a scene in the original; the audience enjoyed the sight of scantily clad Perdita fleeing an orsine embrace.
“But it’s nearly spring now.”
He’d been gammoned, poor man. The cost of a dinner and all he would get at the end was words for his trouble, and twice-used words at that. It was his friend who would go home to a warm bed at the end of the night, at least, if the way Kitty was leaning on his arm was any indication, while Van Duyvil would be left to sport the blunt.
“Don’t expect a thaw to set in any time soon.” And then, in case he didn’t understand, “I’m only here as chaperone.”
More about the new stand alone coming up soon!